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Dippy’s Stay Breaks Records!

More than doubling initial predictions, Dorset County Museum’s special exhibit Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has delighted 153,189 visitors in just under three months.

The early May Bank Holiday was the last opportunity for locals and tourists to visit the impressive 21-metre-long and 4-metre-high diplodocus skeleton in Dorset before he ventures to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Never seen before on display outside London since he arrived at the Natural History Museum in 1905, Dorset County Museum was the first stop of Dippy’s UK tour where he is on a mission to inspire five million natural history adventures, encouraging families and schools to explore nature on their doorstep.

On display in Dorset since 10th February, Dippy’s mission has certainly been accomplished along the Jurassic Coast with thousands gathering to see him - proving to be the Museum’s most successful exhibition ever.

Jointly hosting Dippy in Dorset, the Jurassic Coast Trust worked in collaboration with other local organisations to encourage around 25,000 people across the south west to adventure outside to enjoy their own Dippy-themed natural history adventure from geological walks to art days.

Sam Rose, Chief Executive of the Jurassic Coast Trust says: "Dippy on Tour has been an exceptional project for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. It is testament to the uniqueness of our World Heritage Site that Dippy's visit has so strongly caught the public imagination, and we hope that their experiences will lead to a lifetime of engagement with our coastline and its incredible stories."

During Dippy’s 12 week stay, the Jurassic Coast Trust toured a Dippy skull visiting 15 different venues in the local area. They also brought the Dippy experience to four Children’s Centres across West Dorset reaching many disadvantaged families.

Dippy’s visit to Dorset would not have been possible without the generosity and support of the tour’s partner, the Garfield Weston Foundation. Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says: “Our aim is to work in partnership with inspiring causes to make a real difference, so it is wonderful to see the impact Dippy is already making – from contributing to the fantastic cultural offer in the regions he is visiting, to forging new partnerships and helping reignite a passion for nature by encouraging people to venture outdoors. We are thrilled to hear that businesses in Dorset have reported an increase in footfall – all thanks to this awe-inspiring dinosaur cast!”

The official handover moment from Dorset to Birmingham was marked at Dorset County Museum with attendance from Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum and Gurminder Kenth, Museum Manager at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Director of Dorset County Museum, Jon Murden says: “It has been incredible to see the impact Dippy has had on the community and local businesses. The whole of Dorset has embraced Dippy into their hearts and even though Dippy is leaving us, he will leave a lasting legacy here.

I would like to thank everyone who has made Dippy on Tour in Dorset so special and a huge thank you to our wonderful team of staff and volunteers at the Museum for all their hard work.”

While the staff, volunteers and visitors of Dorset County Museum and the Jurassic Coast Trust bid Dippy farewell, the Museum is set to enter a new chapter creating Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset. Opening in 2020, the new museum will provide the facilities and infrastructure enabling many more show-stopping exhibitions, like Dippy, to Dorset every year for years to come.

Published by Dorset County Museum Tuesday 8th May 2018

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